Friday, December 22, 2017

Yousuf Jafar Mehar Ali



YOUSUF JAFAR MEHAR ALI
Date of Birth: 3rd September, 1903 and Date of Death: 2nd July, 1950
            Yousuf Jafar Mehar Ali, who played an active role in ‘Simon Go Back’ movement which ranked as one among the prominent episodes in the history of Indian National Movement, was born on 3rd September, 1903 in Bombay in a rich industrialist’s family.  He used to criticise the inhuman acts of the British rulers since his student days.  He made a sharp comment on them as ‘The British rulers are like dogs.  If you kick them, they will lick you.  But if you lick the, they will kick you’.  He started ‘Young India Society’ in 1925 and initiated the youth movement.  He held a meeting of the society on 21st January, 1928 and made resolutions in favour of ‘Total Independence and on ‘Boycott of Simon Commission’.  But, some the prominent leaders of the day described the resolutions as childish activities.  He retorted by saying ‘The child is the father of the man’.  When Simon Commission reached Bombay and stepped down from the ship at Mole Station, he reached their escaping through the police cover and shouted ‘Simon Go Back’.  As a result, the British Government debarred him from his legal practice.  Yousuf Jafar Mehar Ali was of the view that youth require ideological awareness, study of history and knowledge of the practical strategies.  Thus, he started ‘Vanguard’ weekly magazine.  He also conducted training classes for youth and published several books.  Because of these activities, he had to face the atrocities from the police and imprisonment several times.  During one of his imprisonment periods, he fought for the rights of the under trail prisoners.  He also played a vital role in getting the enactment of the Shops and Establishments Act, which benefited the shop employees.  He played an active role in the Satyagraha Movement in 1940 and became famous for his slogan ‘Quit India’ in 1942, which sent shivers down the spines of British rulers.  He won the elections for the Bombay Legislative Assembly in March, 1948, in which he contested as a candidate of the Socialist Party.  He became role model to all the people’s representatives, by his sacrifices and simple living, respecting every one of his staff on par with his colleagues.  Yousuf Jafar Mehar Ali, who played a leading role in the freedom movement, fell sick while he was in Yerawada Jail because of police torture.  He could not recover since then, and fell prey by breathing his last on 2nd July, 1950.

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